Pair helps ratchet up safety

Lisburn Mayor Andrew Ewing with Harry Connor, inventor of Extra Click, Economic Development Committee Chairman, Alderman Allan Ewart and Bobby Connor, Extra Click.Photo: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons. INUS-Ratchet
Lisburn Mayor Andrew Ewing with Harry Connor, inventor of Extra Click, Economic Development Committee Chairman, Alderman Allan Ewart and Bobby Connor, Extra Click.Photo: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons. INUS-Ratchet

Two Lisburn natives have gone ‘The Extra Click’ towards ratcheting up safety for lorry-drivers with the launch of an innovative new product.

Brothers Harry and Bobby Connor are marketing a ratchet safety aid, developed with the help of Lisburn City Council’s Future Industries Programme and hailed as having the potential to save money and lives.

‘The Extra Click’ is a device designed to eliminate stress on a driver’s body and over-tightening of the ratchet, which can lead to breakages, as well as ensuring all cargo is held securely.

Having identified a potential market, inventor Harry Connor embarked with his brother on months of research and development, developing a prototype and later a thoroughly tested production model with the help of Sydney Hawthorne and his Australia-based company, Plastec, and South West College’s Inno Tech Centre.Lisburn City Council pitched in with a bespoke package of assistance.

Said Harry: “A typical driver may have 16 ratchets to tighten on any one load and throughout the course of a day will have to release and re-secure his or her load multiple times.

“This safety aid has been ergonomically designed to ensure maximum productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort.”

Bobby added: “Getting the desired tightness can also be difficult. Over-tighten and you can break the ratchet mechanism . . . or if you under-tighten this can cause the load to be unsafe for transport.

“The Extra Click has been designed to reduce costs, reduce operator strain, reduce damage to loads and potentially save lives.”

Extra Click has secured a distribution partnership with Transport Supplies NI, whose product manager David Monroe, said: “We see huge potential in the product. Having shown it to buyers and drivers alike, the feedback has been extremely positive with demand for the product steadily increasing.”

Lisburn City Council Economic Development Committee Cairman, Alderman Allan Ewart, said: “The Council is delighted to play its part in helping Bobby and Harry translate their initial concept from design to completion . . . It demonstrates our commitment to supporting local people realise their potential and to providing assistance to showcase their innovations to a wider target audience.”